Helping Keep Utility Companies’ Traffic Management Safe

Recent campaigns from the likes of National Highways and Tier 1 or 2 contractors look to help tackle the abuse that highways workers must deal with when closing lanes, roads or conducting any works on a road that may disrupt driver’s journeys.

Initiatives such as the highways industry backed taskforce, “Stamp It Out” aims to eradicate abuse and incursions into closures on both the local and strategic network, helping to protect the thousands of workers who provide vital services that allow all road users to travel safely and freely every day.

Despite the initiatives, campaigns and nationally observed events like Road Safety Week, “Stamp It Out” remark that “we continue to see increasing numbers of threats both verbally and physically against those that work on our highways across the United Kingdom.”

Indeed, the Evening Standard also noted last year that “Almost one in 10 staff said they have been subjected to physical abuse in the past year, while one in five reported having missiles thrown at them”, really highlighting just how big this problem is.

MVIS and Bartco UK are well known in the industry for creating a culture of collaboration in our product development. Over the years, we have brought numerous products to market that respond to our customer’s needs, and this is an approach that we continue to maintain today.

When it comes to the safety of our customers and our own team, we take this collaborative approach even more seriously. For projects on the high-speed network, in recent years we have developed our Solar IP with CCTV solution to accommodate Low Light CCTV technology, improving visibility for workers on motorways and dual carriageways during night times too.

However, typical urban works, such as those undertaken by utility companies, may struggle to accommodate a Solar IP due to limited budgets or space. Urban environments are more likely to experience space limitations, working on roads of a lower speed, with a higher density of urban planning to work around.

In response to this concern, the team at MVIS and Bartco UK have been working with utilities and traffic management companies to develop 2 new solutions that help to bring many of the same advantages seen with our Solar IP on high-speed roads to urban works.

The Compact Portable CCTV solution integrates wire-free HD CCTV technology with our solar powered ‘Compact’ base, offering increased portability and a reduced footprint compared to other solutions. Combining this CCTV technology with our solar powered compact base means this unit can be deployed in many locations where competing solutions can’t be and prevents the need for an external power source, offering extended run times in recommended conditions.

Our compact base offers the camera not only portability, but also a 3M mast, allowing users excellent visibility when used in conjunction with the camera’s pan, tilt and zoom functions.

For the ultimate in urban safety solutions, we have also developed the CCTV VMS solution, which discreetly integrates a CCTV camera with our VMS-A. Combining these technologies allows you to have eyes on the ground without having to be physically present on-site, creating a surveillance and feedback solution that can be used to monitor and respond to situations quickly.

As a tried and tested traffic control solution, our VMS-A is often used to communicate vital information and safety messages all over the UK and can be used for text or pictograms.

The VMS-A is versatile, requires no external power source and messages can be updated remotely by your team or ours, via a web-based portal that can publish changes in seconds, allowing you to respond to the situation as it changes.

The power of messaging in safety applications can be highly useful, but when integrated with CCTV, both technologies come together to enforce safety restrictions and keep people safe in a more effective way than if used on their own.

The visible presence of CCTV and clear messaging are both well known to influence behaviour. Their combined use offers an information, surveillance and feedback solution that can be used to monitor driver and pedestrian behaviour without having to be on-site.

Graeme Lee, Sales Director at MVIS and Bartco UK comments, “We have been working closely with industries to deliver solutions that have increased safety for many years. The utilities industry and the traffic management companies that work with them can have a tough job with urban works, often working around busy urban or residential sites. Works such as this can be highly frustrating to drivers, pedestrians and even residents especially if the correct warning signage has not been put in place before the works start. In potentially risky situations, it is of the utmost importance that the workers on the ground are protected as much as possible. Our solutions can help with this, making sure that anyone on-site has low cost and flexible surveillance that increases security and safety.”